'Hired gun' Sipho Pityana should be last to talk - ANC

2017-02-08 18:04
Save SA convener Sipho Pityana repeatedly blasted President Jacob Zuma at the campaign's "real State of the Nation Address" in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

Save SA convener Sipho Pityana repeatedly blasted President Jacob Zuma at the campaign's "real State of the Nation Address" in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - The ANC says Sipho Pityana should be the last to talk about the government's role in changing the economy, as he has been a beneficiary of its policies.

"Pityana is a hired gun by big mining companies like AngloGold Ashanti, where he is chairperson... [He defends] and [protects] them in their exploitation of workers," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24 on Wednesday.

Pityana, who is the convener of the Save South Africa campaign, hosted an alternative State of the Nation Address in Cape Town earlier on Wednesday, where he slammed President Jacob Zuma's leadership.

"Pityana is the last to talk about government that has not delivered, because he is a beneficiary of change," Kodwa continued.

"Being the chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti, he works for untransformed mining companies, the big four."

He said Pityana was a product of the ANC and was in his current position because of the party.

'Focus on transformation'

Kodwa claimed that AngloGold Ashanti was seeking to distract from its issues by using the ANC as a scapegoat. He said the mining company was facing strife after it issued a notice to retrench around 800 workers earlier this year.

The focus of the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) would not be Zuma, Kodwa said.

"The focus is bringing back the land to the people, and a focus on radical economic transformation.

"Pityana is a sideshow, and President Zuma will not be distracted by sideshows."

Pityana blasted Zuma at St George's Cathedral on Wednesday, saying the country had "absolutely lost confidence" in his ability to lead.

Zuma's 'mess'

"You have set the promising steps of your predecessors back many years," Pityana told hundreds of people attending the event.

"Under your leadership, all their gains have been reversed, and now look at the mess you've plunged our country in.

"Please don't invite us to your altar of fools by promising you will do better tomorrow [at SONA]. All you have left to offer us now is the word 'radical', which means absolutely nothing."

A proposed press conference straight after Pityana's speech was interrupted by a small group of protesting ANC supporters.

Pityana left soon after, when it was abruptly cancelled.

Read more on:    anc  |  save sa  |  sipho pityana  |  politics  |  sona 2017

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